Last month I ended with this thought.  Presently 60% of Americans view sharing your faith as extreme. 42% of Americans believe that believers are part of the culture problem we face. See the up hill battle that we face? Living our lives reflecting Y’shua’s character and deeds is our secret weapon that needs to be brought out at this time. We can’t make up for our mistakes that led to our image problem. What we can do is seize the opportunity that YHVH is giving us and start right now portraying a different image.
Our world isn’t going to return where everything is fine and America is “great” again unless we make the proper adjustments.  In my opinion we’re like a sports team doing everything we can holding on until half time.  The problem is most of the team has stayed in the locker room and hasn’t returned to the playing field.  We have the best head coach in the world and the most sophisticated playbook in the world.  Our problems aren’t found in the head coach or the playbook.  Our main problematic areas are with the execution of the game plan and performance of the players.  We have offensive coordinators (pastors, evangelists, teachers, and leaders) that are content with being conservative.
Putting it bluntly, I believe a whole generation has been taught to focus on the importance of self preservation instead of world restoration.  The you need to “get saved” message has done tremendous damage in my opinion.  We all need Y’shua because without Him we aren’t able to partake in the renewed covenant.  The “get saved” message is awesome at producing pew warmers, sideline spectators, and unfortunately converts.  This is what I believe the majority of the Body of Y’shua is made up of today.  It all comes back to the conservative let’s just hang on until half time performance of players at the helm of the offensive coordinators.  If this kind of “play” isn’t adjusted, we will continue to not only to have an image problem but to sink further and further into the abyss of irrelevancy.
How can we change the conservative play?  I’ve mentioned in past newsletters and will mention it again.  We have to return to having a heart for people.  In other words, our hearts must focus on the lost again.  Outsiders (non-believers) rarely see believers who embody compassion, service, joy, humility, kindness, forgiveness, peace, patience, goodness, and love. 
SOLUTION: Every believer must work on these areas.  If we focus inwardly, we will be ready to release outwardly through our actions and not just words.  
One of outsiders and especially many young adults in their twenties biggest complaint as to why they avoid people like you and me and religion is very simple.  Our faith is at odds with the type of people they want to associate with.  In other words, outsiders feel that believers aren’t realistic or transparent about themselves.  Many believers preach, teach, and hold others to a certain standard while not even coming close to living up to those same standards.
Outsiders easily see through the facade.  You are what you are, not what you tell people you are!  Outsiders can smell this type of hypocrisy a mile away.  The moment they get a whiff of it, they are gone.  Sure we have lots of image problems but our ever changing environment in which we live, guarantees us new opportunities tomorrow to change those perceptions.  Failure will continue to be the result of just trying to make ourselves look good while never going to the heart of the matter.  The reputation of the faith shouldn’t managed or spun like so many politicians do today.  
SOLUTION: Another way we change our image perception is by becoming more Y’shua like. 
It is clearly evident that we are living in a world that is becoming more and more gospel resistant.  The hostility for the first time has crystalized in the minds and attitudes of outsiders in our society.  A huge slice of our population has concluded that they want nothing to do with us.  This is where you and I come into play by allowing our “Y’shua like lives” to come forth through our actions.
I believe believers are at fault here for this resistance. The way the majority of believers live has given the perception of a cheap, ordinary, and insignificant life. Superficial, antagonistic, and depressing is the present day vision outsiders see within the believing world. Why in the world would they leave the comforts and happiness of the world to come join something insignificant and depressing?
The major complaint of outsiders is believers say one thing but live something entirely different.  
SOLUTION: Believers have to make the choice to be transparent about our flaws by ACTING first and then talking second. 
Also contrary to what believers may be thinking strict moral standards aren’t the real reason as to why outsiders want nothing to do with us.  When believers think that outsiders reject Y’shua because the standards of following Y’shua are so rigorous, this creates an overtone allowing believers to feel like they are better than outsiders because their capability of being holy and sinless.   In a society where morals are declining rapidly, we assume the way to fix our society is to fix the moral issue.  I disagree to a certain extent.  I believe that if we focus on fixing ourselves and being examples as to how Y’shua lived His life, then the moral issue wouldn’t be as big as it is today.
In other words, think about our current political situation.  We have an out of control government, Republican and Democrat by the way, which says one thing but acts in an entirely different way. Corruption is so rampant that one can’t even keep up with all the scandals. This has demoralized those who were honorable servants in government as well as the citizens within our nation.  The majority of population has lost trust in our leaders and an attitude has developed that if my government leaders can hypocritically act a certain way disregarding laws and moral standards its citizens can likewise.  The solution isn’t making America great again.  It’s portraying an example of leadership that is honorable and integrable based on ACTION and not RHETORIC alone.  Brethren the same applies in the believing world.  We all condemn the government’s hypocrisy but yet we can’t even see our own when it is right under the sheets sleeping next to us. Blessings and may the Creator keep you.